Recently, I was asked in an interview, “It’s five o’clock, what are you pouring?” The answer is almost always a good bourbon, whisky, or Canadian rye on the rocks — that or a glass of a dry red wine. It’s been a long week and we could all use a little cocktail to unwind with, don’t you agree?
Here’s a creative and completely satisfying little drink that goes down smooth. I call it The Hibernating Honey Bear because it has an autumn feel with hints of sage and sweet honey, a bears favorite. It would definitely be the choice drink of bears world wide before the long winter nap — because bears drink cocktails and all.
If you like smooth and slightly sweet cocktails that aren’t overwhelmingly sugary, this one’s for you! The sage adds an incredibly earthy element more in the nose than in taste and the honey blends perfectly with the bourbon giving this cocktail a feel of autumn. Perfect for any occasion, this cocktail pairs well with appetizers like a fabulous charcuterie board (a selection of dried and cured meats). I love to make these for fall parties as guests arrive or just on a good date night with the husband. Cheers!
The Hibernating Honey Bear – bourbon with honey and sage infused syrup
makes 1 cocktail
for the honey and sage infused simple syrup*
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup honey
- 10 fresh sage leaves
for the cocktail
- 1 1/2 to 2 ounces Kentucky bourbon
- honey and sage infused simple syrup
- 1 orange peel
- 1 sprig fresh sage
* The syrup recipe makes enough for 3 to 4 drinks. It’s easily halved or doubled. Store any remaining syrup in the refrigerator for up to one week.
1. In a pot over high heat, bring water, honey, and sage to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow the mixture to cool completely. Remove sage.
2. Once the syrup has cooled, fill a lowball glass (or a short mason jar if you want to be southern about it) with ice.
3. Pour bourbon over ice and top off (fill the glass) with the simple syrup. This simple syrup is not sweetly strong but if you want to add the syrup according to your tastes, please feel free to do so. Squeeze the orange peel over the bourbon to release the oils and place the peel in the glass. Stir and garnish with sage.